The Sue Ryder Home

The Sue Ryder Home

Written by Helen Cyr
for IWAP’s Bridge Magazine

The Sue Ryder foundation is a non-governmental, non-political organization that is part of the Sue Ryder Care international organization founded in England as an answer to the suffering brought about by WW II.



The Sue Ryder Home in Prague was established in 1994 and is housed in a cultural heritage entity which was reconstructed and enhanced by public funds. It receives small per capita allotments from residents and government social services but is largely reliant on private donations and independent organizations for support.

The Nursing Home provides care to seniors suffering from ill health who are dependent on continuous assistance. Specialized care is based on varying degrees of impaired movement arising from apoplexy, multiple sclerosis, cardio-vascular disease, degenerative diseases of the joints, or dementia. Housing is provided in small, bright and airy units with readily accessible physical therapy areas and separate common rooms where meals are served and recreational and social activities take place. Five efficiency units house largely independent residents. Current residents in these units include air force veterans and former concentration camp internees. The average age of the 56 residents of the Home is 86.

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Care is provided by licensed personnel and volunteers supervised by them. The latter mostly provide company for the clients. Together they can take walks in the building or the adjoining garden, tend raised garden beds, talk, read books or the newspaper, listen to music, or play games. The atmosphere in the units is genuinely genial. Volunteers at the Home are an essential part of resident care as there is a large therapist/patient ratio stemming from the limited funding available for therapist salaries. Despite this ratio, the Home is rated highly upon regular inspections by health care standards teams. This speaks for the dedication of the personnel.

The Day Care Center is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for seniors who do not want to or cannot be home alone during the day. The main aim of the center is to provide support and activities that help seniors maintain or improve their self-sufficiency and to enable them to develop new social contacts. Regular activities include painting, pottery, baking, gardening, memory training and gentle keep-fit exercises. The large windows in the activities room front on a well kept garden. Across the garden is a well-begun building for a much needed Alzheimer patient resident facility. Its construction has been on hold for one year due to a lack of funds.

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The Public Community Area consists of a gallery with changing art exhibits, a restaurant, an ecumenical chapel, a multipurpose hall and a city library. These facilities create a lively cultural place in the Michle district by offering interesting events and venues. A branch of the excellently volunteer-staffed Academy of the Third Age uses the facilities. Here it offers foreign languages, computer classes, yoga, an internet café, chess, bridge and other courses open to the public. Three Sue Ryder Charity shops, staffed by volunteers, are located in Prague and accept donations from the public for resale. If the donation is large, arrangements can be made for pick up. A wide assortment of good quality, used items including clothes, jewelry, toys, books and CDs, sports equipment, and household and occasionally furniture is available. Charity bazaars are held several times a year. Revenue from the use of the community facilities and the proceeds from the Charity shops are necessary for the facility to continue to provide its services.

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For more information contact Marketa Bowe at 244 029 200 or sue-ryder.novakova@seznam.com.



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